The Simple Act of Giving and Receiving
by Chad Dembski
As the audience enter the tiny and cozy Montreal Improv Space on St. Laurent DeAnne Smith offers you candy, paper and a pen. You are gently encouraged to write something horrible you did, I had a super hard time with this, others did not. This sets up a fantastic relationship off the bat with the audience as they anxiously await to see what is done with their secrets (which have no names but are read at certain points). Reflecting back I feel one of the horrible things I have done is not seen DeAnne Smith before, this is insane but last night she gained at least one fan. She has teamed up with musician/comedian Leighland Backman, who sits casually to her side and offers up perfect sidekick banter. Stand-up is often a solo pursuit so seeing two comedians supporting each other so well with ease and coolness made this show go by so fast I was sad to see it end. Personal material is weaved into the show that is comic but also hints at a deeper level of questioning on what is a horrible act. This philosophical question helps bring the audience closer to the piece and bring the entire room together; this is not often experienced in comedy nights. The only bump in the show is the inclusion of s special guest who on this night disrupted the flow of the show and offered raunchy sex jokes instead of anything to do with the theme. Still, overall, this show is spectacularly funny, touching and a little uncomfortable (in a good way). I would highly suggest getting tickets early, some shows are already sold out in advance and last night there was a line-up an hour early.